School holiday fun in Canberra

School holiday fun at bFirm Battlegames.
School holiday fun at bFirm Battlegames. Photo: Supplied

 Fear not, these school holidays you will not hear the moaning and groaning of "I'm bored… there is nothing to do."

Three quarters of the way through the school year and by the end of Term 3, it can be daunting and stressful to find something new for the kids to do for the whole two weeks. But don't pull your hair out yet, we have created a guide for all things fun and exciting in Canberra to ease the stress of the school holiday woes.

We have found a variety of activities catered for families, others that are solely for the child's experience and some that are designed for parents who need a little bit of a school holiday break themselves.

We have included four different categories including creativity, outdoors, performing arts and educational that cater for all different interests with prices starting at free.

If your child likes to create, there is sketching around the National Gallery, a chance for kids to create using glass at Canberra Glassworks, or even create their own bonsai tree at the Arboretum.

If your child has a love for the outdoors they can become a ninja warrior at Bfirm, or go on a soccer or AFL school holiday program at the Australian Institute of Sport.

For the keen performer they can express themselves on a stage with curtains, lights and costumes at the Drama Stars academy, or experience live theatre at the Canberra Theatre which is showing Room on The Broom.

Your child can get up close and personal with animals at Zoocation, or learn about space at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.

Here's a few more ideas .....



Portrait Play - Portraits past and present

The National Portrait Gallery invites children to explore portraits and look at the different ways they can tell stories through pictures, words, sounds and movement in this drawing activity. 11am-noon, open daily during holidays, National Portrait Gallery, $7 per child, bookings essential. Details:

Art cart

The National Portrait Gallery hosts free activities for families to enjoy together where you can try blind drawing or making a peg doll together. Open daily 11am-4pm during school holidays, National Portrait Gallery, free. Details:

Story time

Children listen to the story "I am an artist" by Marta Altes and create their own visual response, with all materials provided. September 27, 10.30am-noon, National Portrait Gallery, $7 per child, all children must be accompanied, bookings essential. Details:

Peli&Co Craft

Children aged five to 15 years are welcome to partake in a workshop that includes painting, card making, drawing, jewellery, ceramics, lip balms, canvas art and more. October 5, 10-15 year olds, 9am-4pm full day session $75. October 6, 5-10 year olds, 9am-1pm, half-day session $45. Morning/ afternoon tea with all materials and activities included, Bookings essential, held in Peli&Co workshop space in Curtin. Details:

MYO Glass Paperweight

Children can create their own glass paperweights using a method of glass casting utilising recycled glass from television screens. September 27, October 4, Canberra Glassworks, 10.30am to 12.30pm, $80 per person and bookings essential. Details:

Art glass bug tiles

Children will work with a professional artist at Canberra Glassworks to create their own unique glass masterpiece of a frozen frieze bug or critter. Children aged 5-8 with parent/guardian supervision or 8+ independently will learn how to cut and fuse glass in 45 minutes. Wednesday to Sunday during school holidays, 1pm-1.45pm, Canberra glassworks, $50 per person and bookings essential. Details:

Glass tile class

Children will make their own spring-inspired glass tile with a professional artist at Canberra glassworks. Children aged 5-8 with parent/guardian supervision or 8+ independently. September 27-October 1, 20 minute sessions during 10am-12pm, $30 per person, bookings essential. Details:

Spring into clay

A range of creative clay-based activities for all age groups with all clay, materials and firing included. Parents attending as observers in the classroom is discouraged and only allowed under special circumstances and by prior arrangement with Canberra Potters. September 26-28, October 3-6, times, prices and activities vary. Details:

Kids Pantry cooking class

Children aged 5-18 will get to experience state of the art cooking classes, with various sessions or all-day programs. September 26-29, October 3-6, prices vary. Details:

Portrait Play at the National Portrait Gallery.

Portrait Play at the National Portrait Gallery. Photo: Supplied


The National Library of Australia welcomes children aged 4 and over to come in and read, write and illustrate to their hearts desire. September 23-October 8, 10am-4pm, free entry. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Details:

Kite making at the Arboretum

Children 5 and over can create and decorate their own kite to fly at one of the best kite flying spots in Canberra. September 25 and 28, October 2, 11am to 3pm, $10. Details:

Bonsai workshop

Children will learn how to sculpt, snip and pot their own bonsai tree at the Arboretum. September 25, 27 - 10am and 1pm, September 29 - 10.30am, $33.50, bookings essential, National Arboretum. Details:

Indigenous cultural workshop

Five to 12 years olds can join Waradjuri artist Duncan Smith for craft, stories and dancing. October 3, 5, and 6, 2-3pm, $25, National Arboretum. Details:

Sketchy Tuesday

Sketch and wander around the National Gallery of Australia in a supported drawing session. Bring your own drawing supplies and join the group - pencils only. September 26, 2-3pm, free entry, bookings advised. Children to be accompanied by an adult. Details:

LEGO Towers of Tomorrow

The National Museum introduces Towers of Tomorrow where you can experience 20 skyscrapers made entirely from Lego. You are also able to create your own towers in the construction area that features more than 200,000 loose bricks. September 26-29, October 3-6, $2 per child, limited spaces, 45 minute sessions from 9.15am-4.15pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Details:


Battle Ninja and Battle Games

B.Firm offers an opportunity for children aged 7-17 years to be a ninja featuring teamwork exercises, adventure and obstacles. Battle Ninja $150 per person - 9am-4pm, October 4, $150. Battle Games $85 per person - September 28 and September 29, October 5 and October 6, 9am-4pm, ages 7-15. Details:

Cave tour

Carey's cave tour allows children to experience a tour of a limestone cave system at Wee Jasper, featuring hands-on activities. This experience is also on-par to earth science curriculum content for Year 3-4 primary school students. Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesdays, prices and times vary. Details:

School holiday fun at the Australian Institute of Sport.

School holiday fun at the Australian Institute of Sport. Photo: Supplied

Sport programs

The AIS has a wide range of school holiday programs, such as the Sports Vacation Program, Holiday Intensive Swim Program, Soccer and AFL camp and the Pre-school holiday program. Catering for children during school holidays from ages 4-13. September 26-29, October 3-6, prices vary for each program. Details:

Join the circus

This Warehouse Circus program includes structured workshops for the development of strength and coordination. Children can learn a range of different skills including tumbling, mini trampoline, hula hooping, juggling and more. September 26-29, October 3-6, children 5 and up, prices and times vary. Details:


Drama Stars academy

Perform on a real stage with curtains, lights and costumes and create a live performance for family and friends at the end of each day- which will be videoed as a keepsake. September 26-29, October 3-6, ages 4-18 years, 9am-5pm, $80 per day, bookings essential. Details:

Kids Biz Holidays

Kids Biz has a variety of programs in street funk, hip-hop and contemporary dance that are designed to develop skills and kids confidence. This features morning games, two interactive dance sessions and exciting excursions every day. September 26-29, October 3-6, half-day, full day and weekly attendance options for 5-13 year olds, bookings essential. Details:

Room on the Broom Live Theatre

The Canberra Theatre brings Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's book Room on the Broom to life on stage for 3-8 year olds. October 5-7, 10am or 12pm, $29 not including booking fee, bookings essential. Details:



The National Zoo and Aquarium at Canberra offers Zoocation which is an exciting experience where primary school children go behind the scenes, meet the keepers and the animals where they play discovery activities, zoo craft and games. September 26-29, October 3-6, $80 per child per day, save $5 when booking online, bookings essential. Details:

Zoocation holiday fun at the National Zoo and Aquarium.

Zoocation holiday fun at the National Zoo and Aquarium. Photo: Supplied

Australian War Memorial

The AWM is offering free 30 minute tours that are specially designed for children and their families. Try "Hands-on History" that allows children to learn about servicemen and women, as well as handling real objects and trying on uniforms. Family tours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday during school holidays. 10.15am. Hands on History: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday during school holidays. 11am. Details:

Deep Space 

Children are able to find out about the role Australia plays in the exploration of space. Open every day of the holidays, featuring films, exhibitions and the latest discoveries. Open daily, 9am-5pm, free entry. Details:


Visit Questacon and partake in the epic journey into the sky that celebrates the power of innovation that features augmented reality, interactive design and visionary concepts for the future. Open 9am to 5pm daily, admission fees into Questacon. Details:

Please check with individual establishments to ensure all details are correct.